Socratic Dialogue About Believing In God

Christians believe that God is the sound foundation of morality and that only those who believe in Him can live a good life in the society. This means that people cannot be good without God, and those who share a belief in God live better lives than those who do not believe in Him (Hick, 1971). Individuals who support the belief that God is the foundation of morality claim that God’s good nature and holiness provides the only standard against which people’s decisions and actions can be measured. Additionally, human beings have moral obligations and duties that are assigned to them due to God’s moral nature. Again, Christians believe that God holds all people morally accountable for their actions and individuals tend to behave morally only if they believe in God (Craig, 2014).

However, there are a number of counterarguments to the belief that people cannot be good without God. Some people claim that moral actions and decisions come about as a result of socio-biological pressures that homo sapiens have to face in the natural environment as they struggle for survival. In addition, there is no divine lawgiver in the modern world which means that human beings are influenced by their own principles when differentiating what is morally ‘wrong’ from that which is morally ‘right.’ Those who support the belief that people cannot be good without God tend to assume that those who do not believe in God cannot do good things. On the other hand, those who disagree with the idea that God is the sole foundation of morality tend to assume that God does not play any role in the lives of human beings and that people’s actions are decisions are determined by the socio-biological pressures in the natural environment (Craig, 2014). Personally, I argue that people can be good even without God because people’s actions and decisions are guided merely by social conventions.

The belief that people cannot be good without God raises several other questions that philosophers need to answer. For instance, if people cannot be good without believing in God, then must a person believe in God in order to be morally upright? In addition, can moral laws that guide the society be created without making reference to God? Further discussion is necessary in order to make is clear whether a person’s behaviors can only be considered moral if he or she believes in God (Craig, 2014).

Part II

Interlocutor: I feel that people can be good even without believing in God. People’s actions can still be moral so long as they are in accordance with the society’s beliefs.

Socrates: Well, the society can set rules to determine what is morally wrong and that which is morally right…but these rules must be made with reference to God’s holy nature.

Interlocutor: Morality is completely subjective and must not be used as the binding factor between human beings and God.

Socrates: I see, if you think so, then do you believe that God exists?

Interlocutor: Yes, I do believe that God exists, but He is not the sound foundation for morality. Morality is a human convention.

Socrates: I like the fact that you agree that God exists. The fact that God exists makes moral values objective rather than subjective. This is because God’s moral nature provides the basis for deciding whether something is right or wrong irrespective of whether a person believes so.

Interlocutor: I do agree with your point….but do you think that even those who do not believe in God are able to do good things? You seem to argue that those who do not believe in God are not able to differentiate between what is morally wrong and what is morally right.

Socrates: That is true……Those who do not believe in God can act in exactly the same way as those who believe in God do, but in the absence of God, their actions cannot be counted as good because it is difficult to define the moral values in them. Therefore, they cannot tell whether their actions are morally right or wrong.

Interlocutor: Why is it difficult to define the moral values in their actions yet they already know whether they are doing the right thing or not?

Socrates: God is naturally good and holy… He therefore provides the absolute standard against which people’s actions and decisions are measured. Basically, God is the sole source of moral values and those who do not believe in Him cannot explain the source of their moral values.

Interlocutor: One thing I know is that there are various beliefs about the origin of mankind. Our actions depend on the stand that we take concerning the origin of human beings. God only did the creation part and He does not have any role to play in shaping the actions and decisions of human beings.

Socrates: Fine…..What is the foundation for moral values if you say that God does not play any role in shaping the roles of human beings?

Interlocutor: Human beings are special creatures who can make individual decisions.

Socrates: You need to understand that human beings are only considered special creatures if they can fulfill their moral duties and obligations as required by God. This is enough proof that people cannot be good without God.

Interlocutor:  I now understand why people cannot be good without God, but you should clarify whether a person must believe in God in order to be considered a special creature that is morally upright. Additionally, you need to explain whether the society must make reference to God when making laws.

 

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